Rune Christiansen

Fanny and the Mystery in the Grieving Forest

Fanny og mysteriet i den sørgende skogen

Fanny is a young orphaned girl who tries to live as best as she can, alone on the outskirts of a small town. The days go by performing simple chores: getting to school, repairing the gutter, chopping wood and keeping the weeds at bay. But beyond these sorry conditions, there is the fairy tale, full of stubborn conceptions and possibilies. Through Fanny’s distinct approach to the world, this seemingly simple story becomes a simile about friendship, independence and transgression.

Fanny and the Mystery in the Grieving Forest is a both hopeful and deeply disturbing novel.

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‘An exquisitely written novel of grief … Rune Christiansen shows yet again why he is one of Norway’s leading literary stylists … Reading Christiansen is a pleasure unlike any other … [He] has a sense of words most writers can only dream about … a thoughtful, aesthetically outstanding novel about the small and big questions in life’


‘A magnificent novel … gripping, poetic and thought-provoking … an incredibly wise and beautiful novel.’

VG, 6 out of 6 stars
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Photo: Baard Henriksen

Rune Christiansen became an important figure in the Norwegian literary landscape already with the publication of his first book, the poetry collection Where the Train Leaves the Sea, in 1986. Though he was initially known as a groundbreaking poet, Christiansen has increasingly turned his attention to prose, having published a string of acclaimed novels since 2003: Intimacy (2003), The Absence of Music (2007), Chrysantemum (2009) and The Loneliness in Lydia Erneman’s Life (2014). Hailed by many critics as his best work so far, the latter won the national book award, the Brage, and was shortlisted for both the Critics’ Prize for fiction, the Young Readers’ Critics’ Prize and the P2 Listeners’ Novel Prize.
Christiansen has also translated poets such as Frank Kuppner, Alain Bosquet and Edmond Jabés, and edits a select series of contemporary poetry in translation for his publisher, Forlaget Oktober.